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Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing

Beliefs are thoughts, and James Brown

X-Men #10 art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams

Greetings friend,

Our time is brief, and our capacity to be aware of our own process is a gift. One of the most mysterious elements of our being is our self-awareness. Whether this is an evolutionary trait developed from our long lost early Anthropocene ancestors eating psychedelics, or a product of a benevolent cosmic creator remains an unanswered question. It is entirely conceivable that we, humans, may have come into being without this faculty for self-awareness and self-reflection. However, just because we can think of something, does not mean it has any basis in existence. We can think of or imagine creatures of immense size, scale, and all manner of otherworldly powers like the heroes and villains of our comic books. We can also conceive of friendly ghosts, or talking dinosaurs, or adolescent accidental reptile ronin. None of these concepts define our lived experience, nor do they provide the foundation for how we can best co-exist with our world and those who dwell within it. The stories we make about these concepts do, however, impact our behavior; and there are consequences.

For better or worse, humans have a tendency to believe in our own thoughts. Thoughts confirmed become proven theories. Thoughts collected and re-told become stories. Stories believed but without evidence become beliefs and can be helpful or harmful. But no story, and no belief is enough to bring us lasting contentment, joy, or love. Contentment, joy, and love are not thoughts, feelings, or products of human activity. Contentment, joy, and love are expressions of our nature, and arise from within us without beliefs, or concepts.

Here is a reminder that beliefs are another kind of thoughts.


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